High above the Canterbury Plains, there’s a beautiful view; birds, trees, clouds, not to mention all the literary history floating about the dead air, but in the 21st century, you’re more likely to see the futuristic Martin Jetpack.
Before the Martin Jetpack set off for its iconic voyage into the sky, it had only practiced a handful of times, going up only a few feet as if it were a weak bird. Glenn Martin had many Americans excited during his first launch at the Oshkosh Air Show, but left many disappointed due to the fact that he couldn’t raise himself higher than a few dozen feet. Though many still found it exciting, it wasn’t nearly as exhilarating as what would occur just a few years later. Despite the lack of the Martin Jetpack’s success, the engineer stated that the schematics and updated math on the machine could now potentially launch a man not just a few hundred feet in the air, but thousands.
“You spend 29 years designing something you love,” Martin stated to a reporter, a hurtful look in his eye, “So it hurts very much to hear negative things about something I was so excited to present … It just makes you more determined.”
For the second time, Glenn decided to do many indoor practices beforehand, and after a few months of getting to know the machine, finally give the real test outside the Canterbury Plains. As he stepped outside and tried the futuristic looking suit on, his wife had only one piece of advice for him: “Don’t look down.” Before this test flight, no single man in a jetpack had ever flown higher than over a hundred feet, making the mission not only dangerous for the device, but Glenn as well. If the engine were to fail, it would drop like a rock, bringing Martin down with him, but when the moment of truth arrived, Glenn soared.
So how high can the Martin Jetpack go?
Not only did Glenn Martin exceed his own personal record of a few feet above the ground, he trumped beyond the height of the helicopter that was following him around. Flying over 5,000 feet above sea level, the Martin Jetpack became a huge inspiration for human air travel when it successfully launched, prompting several investors, but more importantly, inspiring the hearts and minds of inventors around the world.